Where You Die, I Will Die

Today my marriage to Dann is five years old. And baby Abe is three months old. And I am exhausted, but so happy. 

For a long time Dann and I weren’t sure we would ever be parents. There were a number of reasons, not least of which was the fact that neither of us felt remotely capable of being able to do it well. We had a very serious conversation about the whole idea shortly after we started dating, and I think our mutual reluctance made us more compatible in those early days.  

Obviously, some things changed over time (mine was not an unplanned pregnancy), and we’re three months in to doing the best we can and also realizing that probably no one ever really feels like they’re doing parenting well all the time, am I right? (No, seriously, if you’ve done this before, please tell me I’m right.) 

When I imagined what life would be like with a baby, I really had no idea. (People say stuff like this about becoming parents all the time, but it’s sort of vague/not very helpful. Like, I was prepared for sleep deprivation once we got home from the hospital and started having to be awake in the middle of the night. I was not prepared for laboring 26 hours through the night and going home from the hospital totally depleted and THEN having to be awake in the middle of the night.) I tend to think I’m fairly pragmatic and I like to be prepared, but this has been a more trying transition than I could ever have imagined. When we found out I was pregnant, Dann and I were thrilled (obviously), but we also had a handful of conversations about the ways we were experiencing grief over our days as a childless couple coming to an end. We love each other, but we also really like each other a lot and have had so much fun as a pair since we met. We knew welcoming our boy would change everything, and we were a little bit sad about it.

Real talk: that sadness still gets to us some days. When we’re at our most tired and our most frustrated and our most helpless-feeling, I think we both long for a time when we weren’t responsible for this tiny human. But then we catch a glimpse of his gummy grin and we’re convinced he’s the best, most significant thing we’ve ever done, that we’d do it all over again in a heartbeat.

If there’s one thing I’ve gained from knowing Dann, it’s a sense of security that allows me to be braver than I think I can be. He makes me confident that I can face my fears, that we really can do hard things. For weeks I asked him if he thought we should just start looking for new apartments in Seattle because I thought moving halfway across the country with a newborn would be too hard. He reminded me every time that living in Denver is what we actually wanted, and that moving halfway across the country with a newborn was possible, even if it was hard. He drove the entire way from Seattle to Denver and when we hit a major rainstorm in western Idaho, he didn’t flinch. At one point during the storm he even chuckled in response to something someone said on the podcast we were listening to. Meanwhile, I was on the verge of hyperventilating/trying not to worry about all the drivers in cars with Idaho license plates that had pulled off the road. I was convinced they knew something we didn’t and it probably meant we were going to die.

We made it the rest of the way to Denver and we’ve been settling in to our life here with a baby since mid-May. We took a weeklong trip back to Seattle a couple of weeks ago and Abe got to fly first class on the way home. Not a bad way to experience the second flight of your life at eleven weeks old. It occurred to me then (because I think a lot about how terrible it would be to die in a plane crash whenever I board a plane) that now, more than ever, I really do want to die where Dann dies. We made the vow to one another five years ago and the more we grow together, the more I hope it’s the way things will end. 

Whoa. That got dramatic. Happy anniversary to us! Ha. We got each other a new cutting board and tickets to see TuneYards and Death Cab at Red Rocks next week. 

Now. Let me tell you about this zucchini bread. This. Zucchini. Bread. I ate it at The Whale Wins with Rachel just after finding out I was pregnant, before food really sounded like a good idea. I liked it so much I told Dann to make sure he ordered it when he went there for dinner with friends a couple of months later. And when we went together to this book's release party at Book Larder, they gave us each a slice and we were convinced we needed to own the book. Then Dann asked for the zucchini bread every week or so for about nine months. I finally got it together to make the bread for his first father's day. But let's be honest, he did most of the work while I fed and changed and wore the baby. It took all day, and I wouldn't have had it any other way.  

Discuss

Hey hey! Happy Friday! Dann and Abe and I are wrapping up a week in Seattle and it has been so much fun. We really love this city and we've missed it more than we expected to in the handful of weeks since we moved back to Denver. We've also gotten to see our friends and meet baby Clayton and eat so many meals at Tom Douglas restaurants. So it's been a good week. Also, I'm verrrrry slowly working on finding a new writing rhythm, and I hope to have some new stories to share here soon. In the meantime, I'm definitely still collecting my favorite things from The Internet - just for you. Enjoy!

My kid's not big enough for these yet, but what a genius idea!

I've always loved this house from the outside. It has six bedrooms, 11 baths, and a carriage house. Now's our chance to own it! Who's in?

If this doesn't make you smile, you're probably dead inside.

"Shrink down into yourself around white people in command, make yourself small and quiet and do whatever it takes to keep them comfortable." Probably the best thing I've read in response to what happened in Charleston.

This is too cool. Someone at SPL should probably be getting a raise.

And you better believe this made my bookworm heart swell.

Monday Music: Moda Spira

Well good morning! I have something fun to tell you about today! 

My college roomie (and lifelong friend) Latifah has been making some new music as Moda Spira, and her indiegogo campaign is down to the wire. Tifah is one of the hardest working people I know, and her tenacity as an artist has inspired me over and over in the years I've known her.  

What's cool about this fundraising campaign is that there are all kinds of opportunities to interact with Tifah. She's offering background vocals for your song, a Skype session, a house concert, a listening party! I think she's going to be tired when it's all over.

Only 40 hours remain on the campaign, so go check it out!  

Discuss

By the time you read this, if all goes according to plan, we'll be on our way to Provo with our little buddy asleep in the back seat of the Prius. I sort of can't believe that the day has already come for us to be on our way back to Denver, but here we are. Also, check out the sweet baby in these photos. Dann captured those smiles the other day while he and Abe waited for me to get ready to go see the doctor. Isn't he too much? I think he's the coolest. Anyway, it's been a while, so here are some of my favorite things from The Internet over the last six weeks since I had a baby - just for you. Enjoy!

I want to hang this photo on one of my walls.

Did you know Big Bird is played by an EIGHTY-ONE-YEAR-OLD MAN??

"There's an inherent tension as you nudge a child towards independence, with the expectation that he learn to fend for himself in the kitchen and elsewhere, especially when food is an essential way many parents express love." Well this got me in my feelings.

This is a place where I'd like to spend a weekend. Or a summer. Or a life.

Your tax dollars at work, folks.

Dann sent me this and I think it's super cool.